Opposition Senator Francis “Kiko” N. Pangilinan on Monday called on the Department of Health (DOH) to ensure that the country’s medical frontliners will receive their P500 daily hazard pay.
“Let us honor and celebrate our everyday heroes against (coronavirus disease) COVID-19 by paying them their due, and releasing their daily hazard pay is the least we can do,” Pangilinan said as the country celebrates National Heroes Day.
National Heroes’ Day commemorates the Cry of Pugad Lawin which kicked off the 1896 Philippine Revolution against the Spanish occupation and the struggle for the country's independence.
“May mga nagsusumbong po sa amin na hindi naibibigay ang hazard pay ng mga nurses, medical technologists, at iba pang mga health workers sa ating mga public hospitals. Yung iba naman daw, hindi fixed o hindi buo, merong P150, merong P250, at meron ding P450,” Pangilinan said. (We have received complaints that our nurses, medical technologists, and other health workers in public hospitals are not given their hazard pay. Others were only given P150, P250 while others were given P450.’’
“Yung iba, nagsisipag-resign na lang at pumapasok sa call center,” he added. (Others simply resigned or went to work in call centers.)
Pangilinan said the law provides for a minimum P500 daily hazard pay for all frontliners, including health care workers like doctors, nurses, and medical technologists.
He cited Administrative Order 26, which pegs the minimum daily hazard pay at P500 and includes all government workers required to report for work, regardless of whether they are regular, contractual, or casual.
Pangilinan pointed out that Bayanihan 1, Republic Act 11469, in Section 4(d) also provides for a “’COVID-19 special risk allowance’ in addition to the hazard pay granted under the Magna Carta of Public Health Workers, Republic Act 7305.”
He said the still unsigned P140-billion Bayanihan 2 allocates P13.5 billion for hiring emergency human resources for health, augmentation for operations of hospitals, monthly special risk allowance, actual hazard pay, life insurance, accommodation, transportation, and meals for health workers.
“Let’s honor our heroes not just with rhetoric but with substance,” he added.
In earlier online hearings during the pandemic, senators questioned Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on the overpriced personal protective equipment (PPEs). test kits, and other equipment, as well as the delay and/or non-payment of benefits to medical frontliners.